2016 retrospect

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What a year it has been for me. I can’t believe I managed all that in just a year!

img_0879.jpegIn January I had the most amazing holiday in the US. I reconnected with an old school friend I had not seen in 20 years, and Nina welcomed me into her home, her family and showed me the best of San Francisco, Petaluma and Napa Valley during my stay there. After having seen The Golden Gate Bridge in movies so many times, it seemed almost unreal being right there next to it. It was a fantastic way to commence my adventures of 2017. Thank you, Nina, for your ever open personality!

img_0641.jpegI met up with Camino family and friends in Seattle. The Camino is some of the most rewarding experiences of my life due to the friendships I have gained there. Seattle grew on me, and I thoroughly enjoyed the Scandinavian feel the city and the surrounding areas has. Thank you Gail, Derry & Jim for showing me around and taking time to see me.img_0683.jpeg

Patrick showed me the best of Austin. From live music to BBQ and cowboy boots. It was such a treat to spend time with more Camino family and do a hike near Lady Bird lake. Austin is so very different from the other places I visited, but so very vibrant and alive. Thank you, Patrick, for that rewarding experience.img_0738.jpeg

I got back to my dad’s beach house at Henne Strand and the search for a job began. Luckily my childhood friend, Nette has the touch when it comes to helping others, and she found me a job in Horsens, so in March I began working at Landmad. I love the concept behind Landmad – Danish, local produce for sale at city center combined with a café offering rustic, clean food. It was such an adventure taking part of opening the shop in Horsens. Thank you, Heidi, for giving me the opportunity and for respecting my need to move on. I wish the absolute best for your shops!img_1175.jpg

That period also marked my farewell to my precious dog, Elly. I knew I was moving to Copenhagen, and since Elly is a country dog, I took the difficult decision to let her go. It was such a hard thing to do, and thinking about it, still brings tears to my eyes. Elly is an amazing dog, and she deserves the best life possible, so being back on Tunoe is an infinite better solution than going to the big city with me. Elly is forever in my heart.

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April returned me to Copenhagen. Mette and Thomas kindly opened their home to me, and I returned to Nansensgade, where I years earlier owned my own apartment. It felt good to be back on familiar grounds, and once again Nette found me a job. I can only advice you all to get a “Nette”. My friend, Nette, is the most unselfish, giving and loving person I know, and I feel incredibly thankful to have her in my life. I love you, Nette, and am proud to call you my friend. Being back in Copenhagen also provided me with the opportunity to reconnect with many of my friends. I have had a great time this summer hanging out with you all and experiencing the city and what it had to offer.image

I started working at DARE2 in June. What a difference from all the previous jobs I’ve had. Entering into this creative, energetic and vibrant atmosphere full of entrepreneurs, go-getters and inspiring people gave me a real kick. Meeting these driven souls made me think about what I really want out of life. Thank you, Laila & Kris for giving me a chance and supporting my dream chase. I will keep following your endeavours. You never know if our paths may cross again. A big thanks to all the lovely people, I got to meet while at DARE2. I’m sure I have made lasting friendships, and you all have my full support in achieving your dreams.img_2685

In October I said goodbye to DARE2 and went of to Spain to walk more of the Camino Frances. I took up where I left of in Burgos, but already in Madrid I met my first new Camino buddy – Maria Grazia. The Camino surely provides. It was physically hard, since I had not had time to train before going, but a new back pack with more focused content made for a much easier time. The Meseta was like being home in flat Denmark, but the views breathtaking and once again I was met by loving, positive and happy people. Maria Grazia and Gary became my new Camino family. Thank you to both of you. I look forward to meeting up with you again in future. But also big thanks to all the other amazing people, who crossed my way – I’m struggling if I should mention your names, since I’m scared of forgetting anyone. In case you feel left out, please put it down to my forgetful memory and not my appreciative heart. Thank you, Juan, Stuart, Martina, Paul, Bernice, Lukas, Pablo, Magdalena, Jenna, Kyra and Boromir. Even though I got of the Camino in León, I followed you online walking into Santiago, and I am proud to have walked with everyone of you.img_6228

I’ve spent the rest of the year figuring out a plan for 2017 and making the required changes. I hope to soon be able to share the plans with you, but in order not to jinx it, I will hold off until the details are settled. But be certain it will put me on the path towards my dream. I will no longer just react to what life throws at me. I will go out and attempt to make my dreams come true.img_3105

2016 has given me so much. My word for this year is without a doubt friendship – old and new. Thank you, Katja, Ole, Yana, Mette, Thomas, Lykke, Gitte, Keld, Iben, Nette, Kirstine, Susanne, Pernille, Henrik, Vivi, Kristian and everyone I may right now have forgotten, but am thankful for non the less. As the sun sets on 2016, allow me to leave you with this:

My friends mean everything to me, and no matter where in the world I end up, I hope you will all keep in touch.image

Overvejelser og planer

Efter at have bøvlet lidt med hvad der er kendt som “re-entry” fra Caminoen…altså returnering til det liv, man forlod, som denne gang både var fysisk i form af forkølelse og pandehulebetændelse og psykisk i form af alle de tanker, der myldrer frem, når man står ansigt til ansigt med hverdagen igen.img_2889

Jeg har gået på Caminoen og udnyttet, at der er højt til loftet, så tanker og drømme har fået frit spil, som I måske har læst i mine tidligere indlæg. Noget af det vigtiste for mig fremadrettet, er at komme ud af trædemøllen. Jeg vil have et job, der gør mig glad, giver mig energi og udfordrer mig til at blive den bedste version af mig hver dag. Det lyder højt og flot, men jeg har gjort klar til det i noget tid, da jeg har fået betalt al min gæld ud, så jeg ikke længere SKAL tage et specifikt job pga økonomi. Jeg har minimeret mine ejendele, så jeg ikke er så bundet af materielle pladskrav og er mere mobil i verden. Men hvad er det så jeg vil?

Der er mange negative tanker knyttet til Tunø, men der er også rigtig mange gode og dejlige tanker stadigvæk. Særligt naturen, højt til loftet og behovet for kreativitet, når man bor udenfor lands lov og ret er noget af det, jeg savner. Jo, og så naturligvis de fantastiske mennesker, jeg lærte at kende, da jeg boede på øen, men de kontakter har jeg fastholdt.

Jeg vil gerne prøve at finde nogle af de positive ting fra Tunø igen – blot et andet sted. Heldigvis er verden fyldt med dejlige steder med smuk natur. På sigt vil jeg gerne have mit eget sted, hvor jeg kan lave en form for egenproduktion, gårdbutik, gårdcafé eller lignende. Jeg kan røge fisk, lave cremer og mange andre ting, men jeg synes dog stadig, at jeg mangler den grundliggende viden til at kunne have et lille landsted. Jeg ved ikke noget om dyrehold, dyrkning af grøntsager og bæredygtig livsstil….ihvertfald ikke mere end de fleste andre, og det kan blive dyre lærepenge, hvis jeg bare kaster mig hovedkulds ud i det.

De af jer, der kender mig, ved at jeg godt kan være impulsiv, men at jeg som oftes har en plan. Min plan er derfor nu at finde et job ved et bæredygtigt, økologisk landbrug, så jeg kan lære de ting, jeg ikke ved. Jeg ønsker ikke stordrift. Jeg ønsker et sted med respekt for natur og dyr, jeg kan leve af. Ikke noget der skal blive en stor og opslugende forretning. Jo, det må da gerne gå godt, men det skal bare løbe rundt, og ikke løbe rundt med mig.

Jeg søger primært i udlandet, da det efterhånden snart er 20 år siden jeg boede udenlands, og det trækker i mig igen. Danmark er et skønt land, men sommetider er det godt at se hvad der er på den anden side af hækken, så man kan værdsætte, hvad man har. Måske det er Camino-eventyrene, der får mig til at hungre efter mere…hvem ved? Hvis I kender et sted, hvor mine evner kan bruges, og jeg samtidig kan lære nyt, så skriv til mig, så jeg kan undersøge det.

A sweet ending to this year’s Camino

Protein breakfast

One of my favorite benefits on The Camino is that you can eat and drink as you like, because you burn so many calories every day you walk. Not that I ever would count calories, but I thouroughly enjoy good food, and after leaving Bercianos del Real Camino, we stopped for a second breakfast of 100% protein – bacon and eggs. It tasted amazing and fueled our bodies for that day’s walk. For exactly the food and drink reason I consider doing the Via Francigena that runs from Canterbury to Rome. Imagine walking through Piemonte….oh boy what a feast!

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As we were getting closer and closer to León, I struggled with the decision about where to end this year’s walk. I had time to go beyond León, but would it make sense logistically? Walking and talking with my friend Gary made it clear – I would get off The Camino in León and limit this year’s walk to the Meseta, leaving the remaining roughly 310km to Santiago for next year. Everyone has their own way of doing the Camino. Many goes all the way in one stint, but I am really starting to appreciate my approach of cutting it in three, since I that way get to meet three times the people, that I maybe would have in one stint. For me, the amazing people I meet, are very much part of my personal journey, and I value the friendships I gain highly. img_6228

This picture was taken by the hospitalieri in Mansilla de las Mulas, where these fine pilgrims came together to make a fantastic meal of salad, lentil soup with rice, ice cream dessert and all served up with fresh made sangria. At this table sat most of the pilgrims that I was fortunate enough to meet this year. They all made a big impression on me, and I look forward to meeting them again in future as I have with some of the lovely people I met last time. Thank you all for making my Camino some of the best times ever!

And now for the fun story of the evening. The hospitalieri at the albergue was an assertive young woman, who not only was a great host, but also had taken courses in taking care of the foot injuries pilgrims suffer. That day had been very hot – 25-30 degrees, and since my thin socks were not dry from yesterday’s washing, I was wearing my thick wollen socks, which meant I had more or less boiled my feet during the walk, resulting in heat blisters. The hospitalieri offered to have a look, and then this happened:

Hospitalieri "taking care" of my suffering feet.
Hospitalieri “taking care” of my suffering feet.

We all loved her sense of humour! Once the laughter had died, she took me into her office and very professionally took care of my feet, making next day’s walk into León a breeze.

Many guidebooks and apps suggest that you bus into León because the way should be very industrial and along the highway. Actually I’m glad we decided to walk. It was almost a magic morning and I loved this last walk on my 2016 Camino.img_2666

I loved the image of the tunnel, we passed along the route, with the lovely view at the end.
I loved the image of the tunnel, we passed along the route, with the lovely view at the end
Walking the street of León
Walking the street of León

I entered León with my new Camino family – Maria Grazia and Gary, and along the route Pablo had joined our little band into town. It felt amazing walking these streets, knowing that 177km of Meseta was in my backpack. Of course we ran into fellow pilgrims right in center of city and sat down with them to enjoy a pilgrim lunch complete with wine and good company right by the cathedral.

The new camino family makes it to León
The new camino family makes it to León

We had decided to stay an extra night in León, so we settled in and prepared for a night out. I must admit it was my first time going out wearing fleece leggings, hiking shoes and no make-up. Not exactly a dazzling look, but who cared? We had our fun any way. Thank you, Patrick, for the insider tip on Four Lions Brewery. Great craft beer!

Ladies, Camino and craft beer
Ladies, Camino and craft beer
Living it up!
Living it up!
Argentinian Juan showing me the moves to "You can leave your hat on"
Argentinian Juan showing me the moves to “You can leave your hat on”

We had fun, beaches!

Next day I set out to get my bus ticket to Madrid, some civilian clothes and a sence of the city. Gary decided to walk on and we said our goodbyes at the cathedral. Later Maria Grazia and I went exploring and stumbled into The Parador – the five star hotel known from the movie The Way. It felt so perfect to sit on their patio with a cool drink. Thank you for the tip, Pablo!

The Parador in León
The Parador in León
Courtyard view at The Parador
Courtyard view at The Parador

That night we all went to an organ concert at the cathedral. It is a beautiful building and such a fantastic setting for the concert. León proved the perfect ending to my vacation.img_2715

Thank you León. See you next year
Thank you León. See you next year

Next morning Maria Grazia and I walked to the cathedral together. We met in Madrid and now our ways were parting – me back to Madrid to fly home and Maria Grazia was staying on the Camino. It was bittersweet, but I know I have made a friend for lifeimg_2723

Camino family forever
Camino family forever

We spotted a hot air ballon making it’s way over León in the sunrise. It seemed very fitting to part ways with that sight.

Hot air ballon cruising over the city in the sunrise
Hot air ballon cruising over the city in the sunrise

I had time before my bus, so I got a table at Valor, the chocolateria, and ordered churros. Again it seemed the perfect way to end my visit in this lovely city and to take stock of my camino. My credential is not completely full, but I need to get a new one for the final stretch to Santiago next year. I can’t wait to go back and hopefully meet up with old camino buddies, Helen and Paul from Australia. See you guys down there!

Spanish breakfast treat - churros at Valor
Spanish breakfast treat – churros at Valor
My credential is filling up nicely
My credential is filling up nicely

Thank you for following my way on the Camino. Now comes the hard part – re-entry and finding my way in life. I look forward to meeting life head on and with positivity in my heart.

The simple things in life

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Do we notice the small, simple things in life as we rush along in our busy lives? I guess we often tend not to unfortunately. During my time on the Camino, I have tried to take notice of my surrounding, the people I meet and to remember to sometimes turn around and see what I just passed. It makes a world of difference, my friendsimg_2664

After having spent a night in Lédigos, being treated to dinner by a Swiss gentleman and overhearing a nightly argument between a French lady and a Korean man about usage of electronic devices after 23.00, I set out to catch up with my new Camino family, Maria Grazie and Gary – a friendly soul from Utah, that we met in Hontanas.

 

New Camino family
New Camino family

As mentioned I had been struggling with my feet. Probably due to the fact that my shoes and boots already had many kilometers in them and needed changing, so I for the first time sent my pack ahead at the mere cost of 5€, but at the joy of my feet, since they loved not carrying the burden. My mood immediately picked up, and I felt elated and happy to be able to once again have the energy to be in the moment. Such pretty sights that morning.img_2647

I caught up with my family just before Sahagún at the halfway point, and we entered the city together in search of lunch and new shoes for me.

Pilgrims in Sahagún
Pilgrims in Sahagún

We indeed found both! We happened to wander into a restaurant at Plaza Mayor with the most service-minded Spanish waiter. He performed Charades in order to describe the pilgrim menu of the day and just went out of his way for us. While we were eating the first course fellow pilgrims – Bernice, Martina and Paul joined our little feast and we had the most delightful lunch together.

Pilgrim lunch celebrating passing the halfway point
Pilgrim lunch celebrating passing the halfway point

With very full bellies and new shoes on my feet (I threw away my old boots and shoes…oh my), we went back to the trail in search of Bercianos del Real Camino. Did I tell you that after a few days of rain and cold, the weather had done a complete turnaround and we were now walking in 25-30 degrees? Not at all what I had expected in October, but it was a nice surprice.img_2649

In Bercianos del Real Camino we stayed at the parroquial albergue. It was very modest, no wi-fi, but full of caring hospitalieros, who cooked us dinner and afterwards asked us to perform a song or poem from our home country. Many countries were represented, but I was the only Dane, so they suffered through hearing me sing my home town song – Henne sangen, and afterwards I made a complete mess of our national anthem. Funny how it is easy to sing at the top of your lungs at a sports game, but it become impossible to carry a tune once you have to sing it alone in front of 30 people. I’m glad, I never have to do a solo performance at a stadium and so should your ears be!

Mind over matter

img_2598The last couple of days have been hard on my body. Since I went as a spur of the moment thing, I did not train like last time, and my body has been punishing me ever since. Like DOMS the second day after training is always the hardest, so Friday was complete torture. An excercise in self-diciplin to keep walking…especially the last 9km. But with a determined mind and singing Tim McGraw’s “Humble and Kind” I finished in Boadilla del Camino in Albergue en El Camino, which I can highly recommend.

View of Alto de Mostelares. The highest peak on the Meseta - 905m
View of Alto de Mostelares. The highest peak on the Meseta – 905m
From the top of Alto de Mostelares. What a view!!
From the top of Alto de Mostelares. What a view!!

It is interesting how we can put mind over matter and put ourselves through pain and smile about it afterward at the post-walk drink.img_2601

Maria Grazia and I walked together yesterday. She was patient with me and my sore feet, and she even cooked us pasta last night. Let me make it clear – The Camino provides.

img_2599During our walk we talked extensively about work culture, expectations and as I call it the hamster wheel. So many people get caught up in the hamster wheel, because breaking away seems difficult and scary. Too many people I know or have met randomly tell me that they hold jobs they basically do not enjoy, but their problem is that they don’t know what they want to do instead, so they just stay. I fully understand them, but isn’t it concerning that many people are unhappy with their job, and think they should be doing something else?img_2606

I listenend to myself and choose to leave DARE2, because I no longer feel happy servicing others…I’m not sure I have more to give after spending the better part of my career working in customer service, admin or as PA. I know I’m good at it, but it does not make me happy, so what is the point? I like so many others do not have a clear picture of what I want to do instead, but I’m also questioning if the big city is the right place for me? I love having nature right outside my doorstep, I prefer to eat organic, sustainable food and I continually attempt to minimize my possesions. Somewhere along that route of thought lies the solution for my future. I do not yet know where it will take me and what I will do, but I do know that I will not get back on the hamster wheel.

img_2592Lots of love from Lédigos where I enjoy the fireplace and my post-walk beer

The Meseta – returning to the Camino

First off…since the main language among internationals on the Camino Frances is English, I have decided that most of my blogs from down here will be in English as well.

At the bus station in Madrid I met a fellow peregrino, Maria Grazia from Rome. We joined forces and took the bus together to Burgos exchanging stories along the way. I start in Burgos, because I previously did St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos, but that is a story for another day, my friends.img_2538

I was curious how it would feel to return to the trail, how different it would feel and how my mood would be?img_2551

It felt absolutely fantastic returning to Burgos. Like visiting an old friend or returning home after a long journey away. Strange when my journey is just again beginning, but that is what it felt like…a home coming of sorts. After a big lunch, Maria Grazia and I donned our packs and hit the trail. Out of Burgos we hit what is known as the Meseta. For me another homecoming since it is the wide, flat countryside like we see in Denmark. Getting started was a little hard on my body, but we were wise and stopped already in Tradajos after just 12,2km.img_2555

Having the “tradional” post-walk refreshment at a local bar last night, felt amazing and my thoughts immediately went to my old Camino family and the fantastic people I met on my last journey. If any of you follow this blog, please know that you are all with me in my heart this time around. The Camino world is a special community even though everyone’s Camino is their own. It is sort of like being in a healthy kind of AA – no offence meant, but only people who have walked a Camino knows what it means. Læs mere The Meseta – returning to the Camino

New horizons

As some of you may know, I lost my relationship, my home and job i August 2015 due to infidelity. I’ve heard it said that if you loose two of those three main parameters in your life, it put you under severe pressure. Should you loose all three parameters simultaniously it can reck havoc on your mental state.

Last year when all this happened, and I was thrown into a sea of uncertainty, the only remedy that had an effect was walking. I hiked the west coast of Jutland hoping to find peace, understanding and my identity. Cause who was I without relationship, home and job? It was a terrible time in my life, but at least it made me fit.image

As I walked I slowly improved, and learned to be vocal about my feelings and began to deal with it all. It was not a nice time for me, but I learned a lot through it all. Where would my future take me? Would I ever be able to trust another man again? What would I do with my life, now that I wouldn’t be smoking fish? It seemed to me there where more questions than answers, but with the support of my friends I began to make progress.

In April 2016 I returned to Copenhagen. It felt good to be back and to discover that the friends I had left behind four years ago, were still there to welcome me back. It meant the world to me and I spent the summer rediscovering the city and looking for work. I got a job as PA at DARE2 – an exciting position in an unknown world. The startup world is a constant source of energy, people work to the bone to push their idea, and the positve and colorful atmosphere really made an impact. It has even reinforced my belief in my own little production of beauty products.

Let me return to my starting point….when your whole life is taken from you, it scars you as it did me. It is not something you just bounce back from easily. It take time to reconnect with yourself and search out a new path. Eventhough I have enjoyed my time with DARE2, the job and not at least the amazing colleagues, something has not felt right inside. Stress is showing it ugly face, and I have finally leaned to react when I sense it. Yesterday was the last day at the office for me. I leave DARE2 as friends and without any burned bridges. I am very touched by their understanding and compassion.

My dad’s recent illness has also made a huge impact on me. He was diagnosed with Myelomatosis in August and has been going through treatments since, and luckly he seems to be responding well to the chemo. However the fact that my mom passed away exactly seven years ago due to cancer, does get your thoughts going when your only remaining parent is hit with the big C. I will be the first to admit that I have struggled dealing with the situation and seeing him sick and frail.

img_2527So now what? Well, I’m currently writing this onboard an airplane to Madrid. I have donned my hiking boots, packed my backpack and plan to walk the Camino Frances starting in Burgos. I need to go away for awhile and walk, simply because I know it works for me. I expect to be gone around two weeks, and I will attempt to keep you in the loop – not only about my pilgrimage but also to attempt to share the many thoughts I know will arise.

Nye horisonter

Nogle af jer er bekendt med, at jeg i august 2015 mistede forhold, bolig og job pga utroskab. Jeg har fra flere hørt, at hvis man mister to ud af de nævnte tre, risikerer man at blive meget presset. Hvis man mister alle tre ting på en gang, kan det have store konsekvenser for ens mentale tilstand.

Lige da jeg blev kastet ud i uvisheden for lidt over et år siden, var det eneste, Læs mere Nye horisonter

Hvor hjertet henter energi

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Som I måske ved, stammer jeg fra Vestjylland. Det fornægter sig hverken i sindet eller i accenten. Jeg vil være vestjyde resten af livet, og er frygtelig stolt af mit ophav.

Netop den jyske vestkyst er der mit hjerte altid føler en helt særlig ro, og energien flyder bare bedre, når man går langs vandet, på heden eller i de skønne nåleskove.

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Derfor har jeg valgt at opdatere bloggen med billeder fra mit hjertes tankstation. Jeg håber, I selv kommer over og nyder denne fantastiske del af Danmark og ellers kan I nyde billederne her på siden.

Rigtig god weekend til jer alle – jysk vestkyst eller hvor I nu er.

Kærlig hilsen

Marianne

Smykkeleje


Sidste weekend var der lagt op til fest. Min barndomsveninde fyldte 40 år, og havde inviteret til stor fest. Jeg vil lige som de fleste andre, gerne tage mig godt ud, så jeg gik i gang med overvejelser om kjoler, sko og smykker.image

Jeg er ikke typen, der går meget med smykker. Det har jeg egentlig aldrig været, men jeg synes det ser godt ud, når smykkerne matcher ens outfit, så denne gang valgte jeg at prøve at leje smykker til fest hos Joli

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Hos Joli kan man leje smykker for enten 4 eller 12 dage, og der er halskæder, øreringe, ringe og armbånd fra flere forskellige nye, up-coming designere. Der er masser af forskellige styles i både guld, sølv og andre materialer.image


Jeg fandt øreringe og et armbånd fra samme designer – Cornelia Webb, der passede perfekt til aftenen kjole. Det var fedt at style en gammel kjole op med lidt lækkert bling! Netop ved ikke at købe en ny kjole, havde jeg råd til at leje smykkerne. Det fungerede super godt for mig, og jeg er klar til at leje igen til denne weekend, hvor en ny 40års fest løber af stablen.image

Det er super let med smykkeleje hos Joli:

Man opretter sig med et brugernavn, og så er det egentlig meget enkelt…du vælger de smykker, du vil leje, og Joli sender dig smykkerne. Efter endt brug returnere du smykkerne, forlænger lejemålet eller hvis du har forelsket dig i smykkerne, kan du også købe dem.

Nej, jeg har ikke fået smykkelejen gratis, og modtager ikke penge for ovenstående tekst. Jeg er blot en happy kunde, der har haft en god oplevelse, jeg gerne vil dele med jer, så I måske får lyst at kaste jer ud i at leje smykkerne, næste gang I får lyst til at føle jer lækre med flotte smykker og fancy bling.image